Ukraine Interior Minister, Others Killed In Helicopter Crash

BROVARY, Ukraine (AP) — A helicopter carrying Ukraine’s inside minister and different authorities officers crashed Wednesday in a residential space close to the capital of Kyiv, killing him and a couple of dozen different folks, together with a baby on the bottom, authorities mentioned.

Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi, who oversaw the nation’s police and emergency companies, is essentially the most senior official killed since Russia invaded almost 11 months in the past. His loss of life, together with two others from his ministry, was the second calamity in 4 days to befall Ukraine, after a Russian missile struck an residence constructing within the southeastern metropolis of Dnipro, killing dozens of civilians.

Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi speaks throughout an interview with The Related Press in Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 18, 2022.

Efrem Lukatskyvia Related Press

There was no quick phrase on whether or not the helicopter crash, which got here on a foggy morning close to a kindergarten in Kyiv’s jap suburb of Brovary, was an accident or associated to the struggle, however Ukrainian authorities instantly opened an investigation. No combating has been reported just lately within the capital area.

Ukraine’s State Emergency Service mentioned no less than 14 folks had been killed within the crash, together with 9 aboard the helicopter, and one youngster on the bottom. It mentioned 25 folks have been injured, together with 11 kids. Early official stories gave a distinct variety of casualties, together with a better loss of life toll.

Kyiv regional Gov. Oleksii Kuleba advised Ukrainian tv that emergency companies had been nonetheless figuring out stays recovered and that the loss of life toll might rise.

Workers pass the scene where a helicopter crashed on civil infrastructure in Brovary, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Jan. 18, 2023.
Employees move the scene the place a helicopter crashed on civil infrastructure in Brovary, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Jan. 18, 2023.

Daniel Cole by way of Related Press

A view of the scene where a helicopter crashed on civil infrastructure in Brovary, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Jan. 18, 2023.
A view of the scene the place a helicopter crashed on civil infrastructure in Brovary, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Jan. 18, 2023.

Daniel Cole by way of Related Press

The Ukraine Nationwide Police mentioned the crash killed 5 Interior Ministry officers, one nationwide police official and three crew members on the helicopter.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described the crash as “a terrible tragedy” on a “black morning.”

“The pain is unspeakable,” he wrote on Telegram.

A man lays flowers and children toys near a fragment of a helicopter crashed at a kindergarten in Brovary, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Jan. 18, 2023.
A person lays flowers and youngsters toys close to a fraction of a helicopter crashed at a kindergarten in Brovary, within the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Jan. 18, 2023.

Efrem Lukatsky by way of Related Press

British Dwelling Secretary Suella Braverman known as the 42-year-old Monastyrskyi “a leading light in supporting the Ukrainian people during (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s illegal invasion.” She mentioned she was “struck by his determination, optimism and patriotism.”

Monastyrskyi was accountable for police and emergency companies that handled the results of Russian strikes and de-mining, political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko advised The Related Press.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal mentioned Ihor Klymenko, the nationwide police chief, has been appointed performing inside minister.

Monastyrskyi’s deputy Yevhen Yenin and State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Yurii Lubkovych had been amongst these killed, based on the Nationwide Police.

Senior officers routinely journey by helicopter throughout the battle, and the tragedy might immediate Kyiv to institute a rule that exists in lots of European international locations stating that high officers shouldn’t fly on the identical plane, Fesenko mentioned.

The officers on the helicopter had been because of go to Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv area, native police chief Volodymyr Tymoshko mentioned, including on Fb that they had been “not just leaders,” however “friends who I respected.”

On the crash scene, no less than 4 our bodies had been coated by reflective sheets. Officers cleared charred, mangled wreckage that was mendacity in opposition to an residence constructing and in a playground. Some partitions had been partly demolished and blackened.

A dead body on the ground at the scene where a helicopter crashed on civil infrastructure in Brovary, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Jan. 18, 2023.
A lifeless physique on the bottom on the scene the place a helicopter crashed on civil infrastructure in Brovary, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Jan. 18, 2023.

Daniel Cole by way of Related Press

A spokesperson for Ukraine’s air pressure, Yurii Ihnat, advised a tv channel that an investigation was underneath manner.

The helicopter was a French-manufactured Tremendous Puma, he added.

A French protection official mentioned the helicopter was offered to Ukraine in 2019 and was not a part of gear that France has offered for the reason that begin of the struggle. He spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of he was not approved to be recognized, based on ministry coverage.

The Safety Service of Ukraine is conducting an investigation, prosecutor normal Andriy Kostin mentioned. “For now, we are considering all possible versions of the helicopter crash accident,” he mentioned on Telegram.

The crash got here at a very darkish interval within the struggle for Ukraine, simply days after the Russian strike on the residence constructing in southeastern Ukraine killed 45 folks, together with six kids — the deadliest assault on civilians for the reason that spring.

“Another very sad day today — new losses,” mentioned Ukraine’s first woman, Olena Zelenska, dabbing teary eyes and pinching her nostril as she responded to the information whereas on the World Financial Discussion board in Davos, Switzerland.

First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska reacts at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland after the news of a helicopter crash in Ukraine, where Minister of Internal Affairs Denys Monastyrsky died among others on Jan. 18, 2023.
First Woman of Ukraine Olena Zelenska reacts on the World Financial Discussion board in Davos, Switzerland after the information of a helicopter crash in Ukraine, the place Minister of Internal Affairs Denys Monastyrsky died amongst others on Jan. 18, 2023.

Markus Schreiber by way of Related Press

The discussion board held 15 seconds of silence after opening the session to honor the Ukrainian officers killed.

“Haven’t had time to recover from one tragedy, there is already another one,” mentioned the deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential workplace Kyrylo Tymoshenko.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted his condolences, including that Ukrainians will proceed to die so long as Putin “continues his needless war.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who’s going through strain to ship tanks to Ukraine, tweeted that the crash “shows once again the huge price that Ukraine is having to pay in this war.”

In different developments Wednesday:

— Putin defended his invasion by providing a variation on arguments he has used beforehand. He advised a bunch of veterans that Moscow’s actions had been supposed to cease a “war” that has raged for years in jap Ukraine, the place Russia-backed separatists have battled Ukrainian forces.

“All what we are doing today as part of the special military operation is an attempt to stop this war. This is the meaning of our operation — protecting people who live on those territories,” he mentioned.

Ukraine and its Western allies have rejected Russia’s justifications arguments, saying Kyiv posed no risk to Moscow and the invasion was unprovoked.

— Russian International Minister Sergey Lavrov mentioned Moscow’s targets in Ukraine are “determined by Russia’s core legitimate interests.”

“There must be no military infrastructure in Ukraine that poses a direct threat to our country,” Lavrov mentioned at his annual information convention. He claimed the objective of Ukraine’s Western allies is to make use of the battle to exhaust Russia.

— Preventing continued in jap Ukraine across the metropolis of Bakhmut and the close by salt mining city of Soledar, based on Donetsk Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko. A complete of 14 cities and villages had been shelled within the partially occupied Donetsk area within the earlier 24 hours, Ukraine’s presidential workplace mentioned. Two civilians had been wounded.

It added that Russian forces additionally shelled residential areas of the southern metropolis of Kherson, which was retaken by Kyiv’s navy in November. 4 folks had been wounded.

Related Press writers Andrew Meldrum in Kyiv and Angela Charlton in Paris contributed.

Observe AP’s protection of the struggle in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine